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Christmas happened.

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Dec. 30th, 2015 | 12:27 am

But I could never have been prepared.

As mentioned I flew out to New Mexico last Monday, through Saturday. The traveling was easy, in fact all of my flights were early except for the last one home which returned me to DCA all of 8 minutes late. But the actual Christmas preparations were pretty chaotic. I do think my parents put themselves in a difficult position by offering to host 21 (!) people in our little 1,100-square foot house with that galley kitchen. Both of them were pretty tense for about 48 hours leading up to the dinner, and the bickering was a little tiresome. On Christmas Eve we went to Mass, which was all right, and a useful milestone in that we eventually had to stop cleaning the house and go somewhere else. I had written in this entry a bit about our Christmas Eve tradition, which so didn't happen; we had McDonald's for dinner that night.

Still, it worked out ok, partially because they had ridiculously high standards for everything. Dinner included turkey, stuffing, brisket, red chile, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad, and a mostly neglected bowl of sweet corn. Plus Sue brought homemade tortillas! And Auntie Martha brought a ham, which was pretty standard. I definitely ate well, and barely touched the piles of cookies and other baked goods that every single household brought, even when they were specifically asked not to. :)

I even saw Kayla and Kenneth (didn't see them on the last trip) and got to hear more about their current lives. Kayla is on scholarship at NMHU and working full time, which is a lot but definitely a good thing. And I met her boyfriend Chance. 18-year old boys meeting their girlfriend's uncles are the shyest people on Earth, it was sort of adorable. :) Matty and Uncle Tony were also there, and it had also been a while since I'd encountered them.

Very glad it's over, though! I also put 300 miles on my little rental car in less than a week, and had a quiet Friday night at the same Courtyard I've stayed at a few times now by the airport.

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